If you wanted to buy a Yamaha YZF-R1, you had two options – the YZF-R1 and the YZF-R1M. However, you would have had to walk into a Yamaha showroom with a thick wallet. But if you can wait until next year for the motorcycle, but wouldn't need to spend as much because Yamaha has introduced a cheaper version of the R1, badged the Yamaha YZF-R1S.
Although the Yamaha YZF-R1S isn't exactly cheap, the Japanese manufacturer has managed to shave off almost Rs 1.3 lakh from the price of the base R1. Despite this, there are very little differences between the R1 and the R1S. At the front, the multi-spoke magnesium alloys have been replaced by five-spoke aluminum ones, the titanium connecting rods in the engine have been replaced with steel ones, the oil pan and right-side engine cover are now aluminium instead of titanium. The exhaust headers use stainless steel now, and not titanium. The Yamaha YZF-R1S also reportedly redlines a little lower than the R1, and this could be because of the use of new valve springs.
Yamaha has now made the quick-shifter optional, instead of it being offered as standard. All the other hardware remains unchanged. It gets the titanium muffler and the entire electronics package that has a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit and offers traction control, wheelie control, launch control, slide control programs, and ABS. With these changes, the Yamaha YZF-R1S weighs a little over 203.2kg (wet), which is about 4kg heavier than the R1. It does not even get a separate 'S' badge.
This Yamaha motorcycle should be available with dealers across the globe early next year, and we can only wait and see the if and when of it coming to Indian shores.